Left to right Back Row: Chandler Stevenson, Gannon Lemaster, Seokkee Min, Collin Polucha, Mbaye Diouf, Andrew Howes, Joshua Burrow, Jillian Sun
Front Row: Zixi Lin, Mitchell Harling, Adriana Salazar, Dr Kimani Toussaint, Rutendo Jakachira, Gabrielle Dedier, Krishangi Krishna

Professor Kimani C. Toussaint

K. C. Toussaint, Jr., Ph.D. is a Professor in the School of Engineering at Brown University with appointments in Electrical and Computer Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering. He is the Senior Associate Dean in the Brown University School of Engineering beginning August 1st, 2020, the Thomas J. Watson, Sr. Professor of Science in June 2023 and he is also the Director of the  Brown-Lifespan Center for Digital Health. Prior to joining Brown, Dr. Toussaint was on faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for 12 years, where he rose to the rank of Professor in the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering. Dr. Toussaint directs the laboratory for Photonics Research of Bio/nano Environments (PROBE Lab), an interdisciplinary research group which focuses on both developing nonlinear optical imaging techniques for quantitative assessment of biological tissues, and novel methods for harnessing plasmonic nanostructures for light-driven control of matter. He is a recipient of a 2010 NSF CAREER Award, the 2014-2015 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Visiting Associate Professor at MIT, the 2015 Illinois Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research, the 2017 Illinois Everitt Award for Teaching Excellence, the 2019 Distinguished Promotion Award,  and the 2023 Hazeltine Innovation Award. Dr. Toussaint is also a Fellow of the OSA and SPIE, and Senior Member in the IEEE. In addition, he served as the PI and inaugural Director of the US National Science Foundation (NSF) Nanomanufacturing (nanoMFG) Node at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign from 2017-2019.

Dr. Toussaint is also part of CELL-MET, a multi-institutional National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center in Cellular Metamaterials (EEC-1647837). CELL-MET aims to grow functional and clinically significant heart tissue while simultaneously developing a talented and diverse workforce to tackle future challenges in synthetic tissues engineering.

Current Members

Lab Manager

Collin Polucha

Collin Polucha received his BS in Animal Science From the University of Rhode Island in 2011. He has an extensive research background as an in vivo surgeon working on many projects that include: macular degeneration, cardiovascular regeneration, tissue imaging and inner ear disorders. Collin joined the Probe Lab in 2023 in the role of lab manager.

Senior Research Associate

Mbaye Diouf

Mbaye Diouf received his Ph.D. in 2017, from the University of Cheikh Anta Diop, Senegal/Engineering School of Communication of Tunis, Tunisia. He is a senior research associate at Brown University, School of Engineering where he almost single-handedly designed and built the PROBE Lab and has trained and mentored many of the lab’s students. His current and future research will broadly target optics and photonics, including nonlinear optics, space time wave packets, multiphoton microscopy, light sheet microscopy, and supercontinuum laser sources. In addition, he has been a critical contributor for the development of a pulse oximeter that will work accurately across all skin tones. He co-invented the prototype currently being tested in a Rhode Island hospital drawing considerable media attention and leading to a filed patent. He is an active member of OPTICA. Trilingual in Wolof, French, and English, Diouf intends to prioritize DEI in his research, teaching, and leadership, particularly for those on the periphery of higher education.

Post Doc

Joshua Burrow

Joshua Burrow received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electro-Optics from the University of Dayton in 2015 and 2021, respectively. He received his B.S. degrees in Mathematics and Physics from Morehouse College in 2012. During his doctoral study, he was awarded the Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship from the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine for his notable research and impactful DEI and STEM outreach activities. He is a member of Optica (formerly OSA), SPIE, APS, IEEE Photonics, and the National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP). From 2017 to 2019, he served as the Student Representative and Executive Board Member of the NSBP. In addition, he has organized over 10 conferences and workshops, including the 2018 OSA International OSA Network of Students Midwest Conference and 2019 ComSciCon-AIP Workshop. He joined the PROBE Lab as a Hibbitt Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in October of 2021. His research interests are in optics and photonics including light-matter interactions in nanomaterials, nanofabrication, nanomanufacturing, non-destructive material characterization, spectroscopy, microscopy, opto-chirality, and particle trapping. Outside of the lab, Joshua enjoys photography, graphic design, music, traveling, playing basketball, watching the Baltimore Ravens, and mentoring aspiring scientists and engineers.

Graduate Students

Zixi Lin

Zixi Lin is a PhD student in Biomedical Engineering at Brown University. She received a Bachelor of Science degree from Peking University in China in July, 2018. Her research focuses on nonlinear optical imaging of biological tissues and image analysis of complex fiber structures. She likes playing yoga, reading detective novels and playing the piano.

Adriana C. Salazar Coariti

Adriana C. Salazar Coariti is Research Coordinator and Probe lab manager at Brown University. She received her B.S. in mechanical engineering from the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She assists with the lab equipment management, and research. Adriana has experience in software development, data analytics and algorithm development. Previously, she worked in the Center for Innovation in Teaching & Learning in the University of Illinois supporting online classes websites and CityHook in Dublin, Ireland helping analyze transportation data. In research, she has experience with beam alignment, two photon lithography and image processing. Topics she finds fascinating are: biomedical devices, nanotechnology, optics, materials, robotics and STEM education. Adriana was born and raised at 11,942 feet above sea level in La Paz, Bolivia. She finds joy reading the bible, swimming, listening to music, singing, hiking and cooking.

Krishangi Krishna

Krishangi is a PhD student in the Biomedical Engineering department at the PROBE Lab. She received her B.E in BME from Stony Brook University. Her previous research experience involved developing a protocol to develop plastic microfluidic chips that could potentially be used for biomedical applications such as digital PCR. Currently she is researching on non-linear optics for tissue fibers. Krishangi’s other interests involve exploring new places, reading, and electronic music.

Mitchell Harling

Mitchell Harling is a PhD student in the Biomedical Engineering program and member of the PROBE Lab. He received his B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Maine in May 2020. His previous research experience focused on the nonlinear optical imaging of the extracellular matrix (ECM) and subsequent image analysis to investigate ECM alterations in diseased states. Outside of research, Mitchell plans to make an impact by developing and/or aligning with STEM outreach programs that are invested in engaging with historically underrepresented groups. His other interests include listening to music, reading, cooking, and hiking. 

Jieliyue Sun

Jieliyue Sun is a PhD student in the Electrical and Computer Engineering program and a member of the PROBE lab. She received her Bachelor of Engineering degree in Opto-Electronics Information Science and Engineering from Zhejiang University, China in June, 2020. Her previous research experience involved developing mid-infrared photothermal microscopy for chemical histology. She is also interested in super-resolution imaging and data processing. Her hobbies include musicals, badminton, traveling and vlogging.

Rutendo Jakachira

Rutendo Jakachira is a PhD student in the Physics program and member of the PROBE Lab. She received her B.S. in Physics from Drew University in December 2019. Her previous research experience focused on using linear confocal microscopy to image diseased skin cells in vivo. She also did work in non-linear optics where she developed waveguides in glass using a femtosecond laser. Rutendo’s hobbies include exploring new restaurants, reading and traveling.

Ayo Sogbesan

Ayo Sogbesan is a second-year MSc Biotechnology student at Brown University, specializing in the management track. She earned her B.S. in Biology from Georgia Tech in May 2023. Her current research focuses on market analysis and evaluating commercialization prospects for innovative technologies. Outside of the lab, Ayo enjoys hiking, thrifting, traveling, and exploring new restaurants.

Undergraduates

Chandler Stevenson
Gannon Lemaster

Campbell Thomas

Campbell is a senior studying Biomedical Engineering. She chose to study BME because she is passionate about expanding access to healthcare with innovation and technology. She works for the Brown-Lifespan Center for Digital Health researching wearable devices and also helps with administrative tasks. As a member of the PROBE Lab, she works on building pulse oximeters that will work on all skin tones. She loves her dog, warm weather, and UNC basketball.

Wenyu Liu

Yareli Macias-Sanchez

Yareli Macias-Sanchez is a senior studying biomedical engineering and an undergraduate research assistant in the PROBE Lab. She also works in the Tripathi lab, focusing on developing assays to characterize pDNA. Within the lab, she will be working on building a pulse oximeter that provides accurate measurements regardless of skin color and motion. Outside of school, she enjoys watching Mexico’s National soccer team, swimming, and exploring

Shayaan Chaudhary

Shayaan is a 2nd-year undergraduate student in the Computer Engineering department at Brown University. He is working with PhD student Krishangi Krishna on engineering ultra-low power light sheet optical tweezers as a force transducer for biological systems. In his free time, Shayaan likes to play soccer, go skiing, and ride motorcycles.

Alumni

Teniola Oguntolu
Qing Ding
Woowon Lee
Mohammad Mahfuzul Kabir
Hemangg Singh Rajput
Varun Kelkar
Abdul Monnaf Bhuiya
Jie Yee Chan
Hao Chen
Aakash Choubal
Naja Edwards
Yang Hu
Gopala Krishna Inavalli
Kaspar Ko
Ryan Kovarik
Tony Tung Yuen Lau
Scott Leithem
David Luedtke
Donald Magnani
David McDonald
Monal Mehta
Erik Misawa
Chukwuemeka Okoro
Rafael Ramirez
Raghu Ambekar Ramachandra Rao
Sara Rios
Brian Roxworthy
Nalwanda Shamutete
Santosh Tripathi
Mehdi Zaman

Seokkee Min

Andrew Howes